Declaration of Independence (Israel)

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The Israeli Declaration of Independence (Hebrew: הכרזת העצמאות‎, Hakhrazat HaAtzma'ut or Hebrew: מגילת העצמאותMegilat HaAtzma'ut), made on 14 May 1948 (5 Iyar 5708), the day before the British Mandate was due to expire, was the official announcement that the new Jewish state named the State of Israel had been formally established in parts of what was known as the British Mandate of Palestine and on land where, in antiquity, the Kingdoms of Israel and Judah had once been.

The event is celebrated annually in Israel with a national holiday called Yom Ha'atzmaut (Hebrew: יום העצמאות‎, lit. Independence Day) on 5 Iyar of every year according to the Hebrew calendar.

Contents

Background

While the possibility of a Jewish homeland in Palestine had been a goal of Zionist organizations since the late 19th century, it was not until the Balfour Declaration of 1917 that the idea gained the official backing of a major power, with the British government formally stating its policy as:

His Majesty's government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.[1]

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